Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday: A person who is happy with what they have is rich

Did you go shopping?  Hit the mall?  I didn't.  There is nothing that we need to make me want to fight the crowds.  Imagine pepper spraying someone so they stay away from the DVD player that you want!  Or getting arrested because you stuffed a video into your pants so you could pull your kid out of the crowd without him getting trampled.  What about having a disagreement with the hair stylist leading to having an all out brawl in the hair salon?  And this is supposed to signal the start of a holy time of the year?  I just don't get it.

A lot of blog talk is about how people are reacting with the Black Friday shopping and trying to compare this to how people would react if the stores were closed and they had no more food.  There would be trouble ahead but I think a lot of those people would be sitting around waiting for someone to provide food and supplies to them.  There would be a calm before the storm.

The grand kids are spending a couple of nights at son's apartment with their little cousins.  After all, they have school vacation so they may as well hang out with the cousins.  I didn't have to work today; I spent the day cleaning the house.  I oiled the dining room floor.  I got totally surprised when I was out in the front pasture...I found two ripe watermelons hidden in the weeds.  (Watermelons in November is unheard of!) I gathered a couple more bags of give away stuff.  I also took a bag of toys out of the family room to give away.  Is it because it's all going to get replaced with gifts later this month?  NO!

Oldest daughter came over for a bit today with a grand daughter.  She wanted to know what I was going to put into the empty space.  Nothing.  How much empty space do you have?  I know, if you live in small quarters you may not have much.  If you live in a larger home (we have over 2,000 sq.ft.) there should be empty space.  An empty drawer here, an empty shelf there. 

I used to shop on Black Friday.  But I didn't shop for gifts.  I'd shop for things that I wanted that were a good deal.  The types of gifts I give aren't usually on the super sales.  But I really have all that I need.  Sure it's nice to think about things that I'd like to have.  Something that I want.  But if TSHTF today or tomorrow, nothing that's on sale for Black Friday would be something that I'd be rushing out to get.  (Yes I know some of the freeze dried food places are having sales, I'm not counting them.)

Have you noticed that people who appear to have everything often times aren't happy?  Now, I'm not saying that if you are well off that you can't be happy.  You can.  I do know plenty of well off people who are happy.  It's just that they don't derive their happiness from their stuff.  Their happiness comes from their faith and their family.  That's a lesson that people who don't have much money need to remember.  It isn't about the stuff. 

At Sunday school last week the grand kids brought home a video called Enough Already.  They watched it a couple of times but I never did.  With a quiet house I figured it was time for me to see it.  I knew it was a cute video because they were singing "enough already!"  The story is about a poor but happy family.  The dad, mom, and five kids.  They all seem to get along.  Then one day dad comes home from work and one kid complains that he needs new clothes, another needs a new blanket, another wants a new bed, another needs something else, etc.  Even the mom complains that she needs peace and quiet.  They all beg, "just give me this, we'll never ask for anything ever again."  (How many times have we all heard that?)

Dad can't figure out what to do to make things better.  He asks for advice.  He's told to bring the goat into the house.  So he does.  That certainly doesn't make it better.  The next day he goes back for more advice.  He's told to bring in a ewe.  That doesn't make it better either.  The next day a rooster.  The next day a cow.  Then a hen.  None of this makes the family happier - imagine having all these animals in the house with them.  They finally say enough.  Do not bring any more animals into the house!  The next day the dad took all the animals out of the house.  Wow.  The family had so much more room.  The house was quiet.  They were all satisfied with what they had after all.  They realized that those who are happy with what they have are rich. 

After my month of no shopping (almost) I have gone out a few times and spent money.  I bought gas, milk and other groceries that were on sale, cheese for my cheese canning experiment, and a shelving unit for my hidden room.  What I'm not going to do is replace what I'm removing from the house with new stuff.  Boy could use a few more pairs of pants but even then, I'm patching the knees in the ones he has.  He's just growing out of them.  Stop growing!  

I want my home storage to get us through until a time that we could grow or create what we need.  It is enough.  When I think about things to buy, it's always geared toward helping us to get through whatever may come our way.   We are rich.  Not because of money but because we are satisfied with what we have. 

Sorry for the rambling.  Shopping as headlines drives me crazy. 


  1. I discovered this quote a few years ago and it grows on me more each time I read it.

    "I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them." John Stuart Mill.

  2. In my younger days I was quite a shopper. Now I am the opposite: I don't go shopping for leisure, I only go when I need something. Acquiring stuff does not make you any happier. I make it a point to stay home on Black Friday to avoid all the craziness.